BUTUAN City, PH, April 5-6, 2017—GIZ partners from various agencies and institutions went home after two days of “taking stock” of the past with more than just fond memories and new learnings, ready and eager at “looking ahead” to conquering new heights with COSERAM.
Energized and emboldened to continue, the partners expressed their willingness to take on new challenges in the implementation of the Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management (COSERAM) Program in their communities.
“I have learned a lot during the forum, especially during the break-out session. With these learnings, I personally am more motivated to do more for our community,” said Pastor Fulong Elmer A. Dianga of the Digos City Tribal Council. Pastor Dianga participated in the “Indigenous Political Structure—The Inconvenient Truth” Break-Out Session group.
Pastor Dianga was only one of the more than 150 partners from the national and local line agencies, local government units (LGUs), civil society organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), Peoples’ Organizations (POs) and the academe who participated in the 3rd COSERAM Partners’ Forum at the Almont Inland Resort in Butuan City on April 5-6, 2017.
The forum provided the partners and different interest groups the chance to dialogue, exchange ideas and information, learnings and even challenges.
“I was really looking forward to participate in this forum because, as the local chief executive in a small town such as Talisayan, activities such as this provides me the venue to consult with partners and prospective partners on how to improve governance, and learn new ideas about programs and projects that will contribute to the betterment of my constituents,” said Mayor Rommel C. Maslog of the Municipality of Talisayan in the Province of Misamis Oriental.
With a theme “Taking Stock—Looking Ahead”, the forum gave the partners the chance to take centre stage as they shared their experiences and asked for ideas on how to go about various issues, concerns and challenges they are encountering in the program’s continued implementation.
There were two panel discussions during the forum. Panelists from national line agencies such as the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) shared the national perspective on the “Current Policy Dynamics Concerning Natural Resource and Land Use Governance in Mindanao.”
The second panel discussion revolved around “National Policies, Local Implementation: Empowering LGUs for Action”. Discussants were the mayor of the Municipality of Talisayan in Misamis Oriental; the chief of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Planning and Development Office; the chief of the Agusan del Norte Provincial Planning and Development Office; and representative of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Agusan del Sur.
Highlighting the forum on opening day was the Thematic Break-out Sessions (Working Group) in which the partners chose one of the five different themes for knowledge exchange and discussed selected experiences and work streams of COSERAM. On the second and closing day, the partners had the chance go around the seven different tables of the World café to share their ideas and learnings on “Meeting the Challenges in the Field”.
Simultaneous with the World Café was the Meeting of the National and Regional Steering Committees (NSC-RSC) with DILG Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero and Undersecretary Diosita Andot of Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
The Davao City-based Kaliwat Theater Collective framed the event, providing a festive atmosphere to the forum by integrating the forum’s key messages in stage presentations and choreography that also encouraged the active participation of the participants.
The COSERAM Program supports an integrated approach to poverty reduction and peace building in Caraga and beyond. It is a joint undertaking of the Philippine and German governments and is being implemented by the GIZ, the KfW (German Development Bank) and local partners.
GIZ COSERAM’s overall objective is governance, ensuring sustainability and providing access to natural resources and assets for marginalized groups of the population, contributes to the reduction of violent conflicts in selected areas of Caraga and other conflict-affected areas in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao.